Fascination Metal: From Apprentice to Head of Technology
Dr. Wieland H. Klein is a mechanical engineer and CTO at Heinrich Georg GmbH. He grew up in the region of "Siegerland" and already completed his training at GEORG. In the interview, he talks about his fascination with "technology" and his career path.
Can you briefly describe your professional career?
Dr. Klein: I had my first contact with metal and its processing at the age of three in my father's workshop. From that point on, I knew what fascinated me. Even at elementary school age, I was able to turn and mill as well as work with many manual machine tools. Sheet metal and welding work also excited me. First toys and sleds were built, followed by simple machines for garden use (shredders).
In my youth, I then made my first complex parts for my moped and motorcycle transmission. That was insanely interesting and very practical. Coupled with the theoretical knowledge gained through school in the natural science subjects, especially physics, computer science and chemistry, completely new possibilities arose. I spent practically every free minute after school experimenting, building and learning how to handle and behave with metal on machines. Parallel to my A-levels, I did a lot of programming and soldered my first electronic circuit boards.
After school, my path led me to the Heinrich Georg company in Kreuztal. There I completed an apprenticeship as a mechanical engineer. I enjoyed the training very much. In particular, my instructor at the time, Mr. Stein, taught me how to work precisely. I am still grateful to him for that today. The contact with large machines and plants, the main products of GEORG, also brought me a big step forward. First assemblies at customers were completed. That was very interesting, of course. A completely different world.
After my apprenticeship, I went to RWTH Aachen University and studied mechanical engineering. At the university, I also worked in various institutes from the first semester on in order to learn the practical relevance and to directly implement the theory. My path led me to the WZL (Machine Tool Laboratory of RWTH Aachen University), one of the largest and most important institutes in mechanical engineering worldwide. There, I worked in the field of condition monitoring on machine components.
After two years, I took over as head of the "Machine Elements" working group and developed and supervised many high-performance test benches. After three years, I became chief engineer of the WZL under Prof. Christian Brecher. There I was responsible for the entire field of machine technology. I was able to gain valuable knowledge at many machine tool manufacturers as well as major industrial companies worldwide and at the same time acquire many contacts to national and international scientists and institutes. These contacts still exist today and open up a wide range of opportunities for me in my current profession.
After my doctorate, I consciously went back to the Siegerland to the company Heinrich GEORG company in 2011. Everything is just right here. The products are exciting, technology is alive and you have the opportunity to actively shape innovations for the benefit of customers worldwide. At GEORG, I initially started as a design manager. After three years, I took over the machine tool division and today I am responsible for the technology and production of the GEORG Group in the management.
In your view, what makes your employer stand out?
Dr. Klein: GEORG is an high-tech company that promotes and challenges its employees. The global field of activity is fascinating and subject to constant change. Together with a team of proven experts from various disciplines, I can actively help shape our path from classic mechanical engineer to intelligent process optimizer, and I like the direct proximity to colleagues from almost all areas. I particularly enjoy working at the interface between pure mechanical engineering and digitization, but the challenges posed by climate change with regard to the development of environmentally friendly, energy-efficient products and processes are also very exciting. The trappings are also right; I think our numerous awards as the best employer in mechanical engineering speak for themselves.
What do you appreciate about living & working in South Westphalia?
Dr. Klein: South Westphalia is a region full of life with down-to-earth people. The region has been associated with technology for centuries, it is the cradle of mechanical engineering, where a high level of expertise is gathered, this characterizes the people of the Siegerland. The symbiosis of work and leisure is an excellent fit, offering my young family a wide range of opportunities. And the major centers of Cologne and Frankfurt are easy to reach.
Which advice would you give to young people who are having difficulty finding their career path?
Dr. Klein: My advice is to get solid training in a skilled trade at a good company that attaches importance to its training. There are many opportunities for this in the Siegerland and Sauerland regions. You can build on this basis like a stable foundation for a house.
Is there anything else on your mind?
Dr. Klein: I would like to motivate young people to get involved with technology at an early age, to learn in a playful way and thus to create a basis for their further career. There are great companies in our region, some of which are global leaders like GEORG. In order to secure the future in the long term, we must always be one step ahead of our competitors at home and abroad. And this requires first-class employees in the production facilities as well as outstanding colleagues in innovation and development and in the administrative areas of the companies.
We are celebrating 14 jubilees this year
425 years of GEORG. This year, 14 employees are celebrating their service anniversary at our company. Among them are nine colleagues with 25 years of service and five colleagues with 40 years of service. Thank you for your commitment and loyalty!
Victor Mejia in the assembly hall
Victor has been with us as an industrial mechanic since he started his training on August 1st, 2016. He comes from Guatemala, feels very comfortable with us and has meanwhile developed into a good fitter who has already been on his first field assembly assignments. Victor: we are very happy to have you in our team.
#Heinrichgeorg #youngtalents #workingatgeorg #family
We warmly welcome Phil Grüttner to the GEORG team. Phil will complete his dual studies in electrical engineering with us. We are very happy that you are here and wish you a good start into your professional life.
Welcome to our team!
Today we would like to introduce Alexander Schell. Alexander started working for us this month as a Service Technician. On Monday he will go to Canada with a colleague for two months to set up a new transformer line at a good customer of ours. We say: Welcome to the team and hats off to you for getting up to speed so quickly. We wish you a good arrival in our team and in Canada as well as many good experiences and encounters.
#heinrichgeorg #service #technicalglobetrotter #working@georg
Farewell to Thomas Weber
It's time to say goodbye. After more than 44 years at GEORG, Thomas Weber is going into well-deserved retirement. Thank you, Thomas, for your loyalty and the time together.
Our team grew
We have grown again in the team: Yesterday Felix Epe joined us. He will support our project management in our business unit Finishing Lines. We are very much looking forward to the reinforcement, especially since we were able to land many new and challenging orders this year. Felix will help us to handle these projects successfully - a responsible task.
Welcome, Felix - we wish you a good start with us!
385 years of Georg
385 years of GEORG company affiliation are brought by our twelve jubilarians this year, whom we had the pleasure of celebrating this week. Among them are four colleagues with 40 years each and one colleague with 50 years of service. Thank you for your commitment and loyalty!
Always by your side
This week Alejandro from our Mexican service partner Maquitec and Mohan from GEORG in India started their training of several weeks at the Kreuztal headquarter in Germany. Alejandro will support our service team for North America, while Mohan and his Indian colleagues have been working for GEORG for more than 10 years.